SWB mulls over the mundane


I am in the grips of PMT. I hope to God that’s what it is anyway otherwise I’d be thinking early onset dementia or maybe Parkinson’s. I’ve just dropped a tin of homemade banana bread on the floor and cracked my head off the microwave door. Good rule to remember- always close your microwave door, no one needs being near scalped of a Sunday evening. My friend last night told me her pal always knows when her period is due because she completely loses the ability to park. Parking has never been my speciality so yes, I can identify with that. If you see a demented looking woman on the Ormeau in a silver Qashqai stand well back.


The nesting urge has also begun. I was out a lot this week (quick aside, Noble in Holywood is a gorgeous spot, staff are warm and funny and the soft jazzy music was the perfect soundtrack to the meal. However my cod main was a bit bland and the dessert was miniscule. And for £6.50, come on folks, it wouldn’t kill you to put another dollop of ice cream on the side of the chocolate delice.)


On Friday night then I set upon an ecstasy of laundry. Whites, colours, school uniforms, even a sporty wash since himself has been back to running with renewed vigour, even limping for the last ten miles of the Dublin marathon with the cramps from hell can’t hold him back. (But what is he running away from, the psychoanalysts may ask?) No prizes there: a premenstrual wife, a grumpy cat and two children who refuse even with the dangled carrot of a toy from Smiths to stop wrecking the joint.


face of thon, (and in my bloody bed too)

Then I stumbled upon the notion of separating all the washed and dried clothes into different baskets, his, mine, girls and a separate one for uniforms. To paraphrase Parklife from Blur, this gave me a tremendous sense of well-being, but then I heard Johnny Cash ringing in my ears, that line from Hurt, ‘what have I become?’ (I’ve never heard the Nine Inch Nails version). But in my defence, to make the task more enjoyable I had been listening to Mogwai’s new album and as I sorted and folded it had become quietly meditative and soothing. It can be hard for me to organise my cluttered head so to establish a sense of order over such a humdrum thing as laundry was quite satisfying. I nearly took pictures and then I thought CATCH YOURSELF ON WOMAN. NO ONE IS THAT SAD THAT THEY NEED TO SEE YOUR PANTS, FOLDED OR OTHERWISE. So you are spared that treat.


But to go all philosophical on you (and I promise I’ll make this short) sometimes it’s the small things. The children, aside from trashing the place, were in glorious form this evening. We had a wee jig along to Shiny Happy People on 6 Music and listened to a funny dinosaur story on C-Beebies. Kids just like you being there, that’s what they’ll remember. If I were back at work I’d be in the throes of Sunday night blues right now, instead of typing this, sipping a small glass of wine and exhaling. I used to teach Thornton Wilder’s Our Town and this was its premise, to savour the moment. The kids would have been like “Ye whaa?” And in fairness, one could think, choir practice and milk-floats in the diner, is there no end to the banality? But in the end, these were the things the characters treasured. When I’m knee deep in domestic drudgery I remember his words and his play and I think I’m pretty damn lucky.








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